On People, Love, and executive orders …

I am thinking about my Muslim students tonight. I am thinking about my Latino, Mexican, African American, Somali, Hispanic, Russian, Asian & White students tonight. I am imagining the confusion in their minds this evening and this weekend as they realize their lives have been measured rather than given the freedoms they would like to believe exist for them as citizens of the United States. I am imagining my students who choose not to stand for the Pledge, and coming to terms with the reality of their decision. I am understanding frustration and fear.

I understand a lot of the misgivings that are going through their minds, and I can be empathetic to their struggle. I look in the eyes of the children in my classroom, and I see innocence and hope and faith turning toward a bitter, resentment that fuels the certain fear in their mind as they think about their families and cultural roots being slapped with restriction and discriminatory hypocrisy.

I can hope and pray that our political system recognizes the impulsivity of ‘executive order’ mania that has overwhelmed our first eight days under this ‘reign’ of power. I want to respect the office, but I keep seeing my students in the classroom, and right now those anxieties are what I will pay attention to in the coming weeks and months and years.

I’m ready to stand in line and protest this derision that has only begun to separate itself further from the essential work that has strengthened our civil liberties for decades, that in one full sweep has ignited a fear in the minds of many. I can only hope that our society will continue to focus on one concept that could, that needs, that can only begin the healing process.

That concept is love.

I am conscious of the mosaic of love that exists in our nation and will only believe we continue to recognize hope over fear. I will not be silent.



I Cried For You Tonight

I thought about the reality of time,

that I existed well beyond the scope of you,

though I remember you,

will never ever forget the beauty

of you.


I wonder if my being safe

should have been the hardship I have

made it out to be,

allowed myself to not be free,

become the latter part of we,

when truly you left.


Now the world is an active place,

when then we could dial a friend,

now we simply punch a letter or two,

and the connection is immediate

you’d be surprised

about a few of our innovations.


Yet, the one we missed,

that mortality thing,

even when not planned you disappeared

left me holding onto memory,

today perhaps I’m still holding on,

not memory so much as tragedy.


The other day,

some kids were flying across the ice,

an SUV with open tailgate

laughter I could hear it,

as I slid through the intersection,

the one they’d just passed,

on ropes and challenges.


I stopped in the middle of the road,

went up to the boys

yelled for what seemed more time

than the impact you created

when you lost your life

skitching across the road.


I wonder some time,

if you might let me know,

if did the right thing

by not letting go.

This Gentle Man

I know this man,

not quite as well as many,

there are dozens, that add to the dozens,

the flock of people who know love,

in the heart of this one man.


He does love to sing,

she right by his side, their world,

together under the eyes of God,

she shared his spiritual happiness,

in melody, in heart.


Today his journey began,

and the wells were opened,

the waters cascade

so that everyone might grieve

the passing of a beautiful man.


I know this man clearly through the love,

of his elegant companion, may she find peace.

Clear Misconceptions

If we might imagine a persona

well beyond ourselves, yet familiar

in memory, in a time capsule,

could we ever go back and visit

again,  just to know, to answer

a couple of questions,

I’ve carried around with me all my life.


Like for instance the man asked,

what is the reality of time,

how do we determine existence,

based on reminders forced upon

ourselves when we say hello

even when knowing that’s not possible,

still we continue to breathe.


How many years have I held on,

wanting that piece of my life back.

I was always the cautious one,

the kind little boy who smiled and cried.

I only boasted about you,

because that’s what love is, heartfelt.

Yet knowing you let go slams me out of the blue.


… and all those failed years without you


Peaceful Resistance


women’s march 2017

What led the world to respond,

with not only a few, enough to stop the presses

or perhaps filter the pond,

that place with which he will empty he stresses.


There this movement spoke with urgency

offered the eyes of millions to understand

we are framed within our own clemency,

to know the bounds for which we stand.


A sweet reckoning of the world

we spoke aloud the travesty of miscreants

without any harm the winds swirled

around our energy with little resistance.


Inside the mystique of love in sweet release

stand with her, and she, amidst a magical peace.


* Getty Images 2017

A Quiet Silence

I feel an eery presence in the quiet of a historic night. The world is volatile, everyone reactive, and yet, bad jokes seem to be either accepted or ridiculed as being overly protective, or too politically scrutinized.

But when a government official sends out a meme that suggests Trump has a black family removed from their home, and his colleagues seem to protect him immediately by suggesting it was a joke, I find myself confused.


North Carolina Representative George Cleveland sent this to his buddies today. This was the day of the inauguration. A person could argue this to be funny, and a lot of people might laugh at the irony, in fact, I did when I first read the words, “Trump Forces Black Family From Home” in a text from my friend. It wasn’t a happy laugh, only just a sad commentary on the bizarre reality of the day. A lot of people want to argue about what is right or wrong.

In my world, a privileged world because I am white, I will shrug this off as a disappointing but glaring truth to the state of affairs in our society. At the same time, I will not ignore the reality of our society, and how volatile the world really is, despite everyone trying to convince each other that the thoughts of racism are overblown.

The fears are not over the top. I see it in my students in my classroom. They are all on edge, and a powder keg of emotion just awaits the right fuse.

So a meme like this, sent by a white-haired old neo-conservative is not to be taken for granted. The oppression exists, the racism exists, and we better damn well be ready to address the needs of our country, and realize this man we just put in office, though deserving the respect of the POTUS, is not our unifying agent. That responsible is on our hands.


On Losing

I touched on a feeling today,

a place when I am allowed to travel,

seems to step in my way,

let’s me slowly, carefully, unravel.


I remember the room, dark and sullen,

a tragedy can never appear with flowers,

I stood in the doorway …

the tears later would remind me of forevers.


the night before the phone rang,

I was in bed it was late, I went to sleep

It would be years to understand the pang

I felt that night was buried so deep.


So there my brother waited with quiet repose,

my mom a smile I knew, didn’t mean it was real,

he couldn’t look at me just in shock I suppose,

until her words unleashed a fury so surreal.


A shrieking ‘no’ is all I remember then

until I found I was in my bedroom crying,

I didn’t care about time passing when

my brother stepped in to talk about dying.


I suppose I’ve never understood the point of grief

if when my world turns upside down,

I lose my favorite soul, his life so very brief,

and yet, my uncle would still act the clown.


How do you possibly ever cheer up the dead

when the reality of our lives turns acrid pain,

what might we all decide we could be led,

while love remains a spirited truth we wane.


I was twelve years old, and he was the same,

yet he took off early left me holding the game.